How are your health and fitness goals coming along so far this year? Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions and on track to become a far fitter and healthier you in 2019? If so, great, but, sadly, for many of us, our grand New Year plans often soon fall by the wayside as the pressures and stresses of work and family life take over and we’re left with no time to do anything other than stick a pizza in the oven yet again and crash on the couch for the night.
We’d all love to spend hours at the gym every day and get a rockin’ Instagram bod of our own that we could show off with pride as the weather warms up and we take off on summer beach holidays. But the harsh reality of life is that most of us just don’t have spare time to indulge in our fitness fantasies and transform our pudgy bodies into ripped and shredded works of art. There are simple things you can do, however, that will help you get in shape and keep on going with your health and fitness goals, without taking a huge chunk out of your day.
Food and Weight Loss
It doesn’t matter how much you work out — weight work, cardio and more — if you don’t pay attention to what you put on your plate. Novices often reward themselves after time on the treadmill, with a big, juicy, calorie-laden burger or pizza, and then wonder why they’re not losing weight but putting it on. There’s a myth out there that workouts equal weight loss, but it’s almost entirely untrue. Working out helps to tone your muscles and increase your fitness level by making your heart work more efficiently (less effort, increased blood circulation), and it’s what you put into your mouth that makes all the difference.
Choosing real foods over made ones that are packed full of all manner of strange chemicals and sit on supermarket shelves for ages will make a massive difference in how successful you are with your weight management and fitness goals. It pays to be a detective at the supermarket, which means looking at the ingredients of everything you’re buying. And if you see something that has dozens of ingredients, many of them bizarre and unreadable, it’s best to put it back on the shelf and move to the whole foods section, as well as the produce aisle.
The same goes for drinks: sugar-heavy sodas (even those with sweeteners like aspartame, which has been linked to cancers and a range of other conditions) are a health disaster and, instead, you can choose something like carbonated water and mix in some non-sugar fruit juice to give yourself a refreshing, healthy drink you can have any time of the day. Making sensible food and drink choices is the way to go with your weight loss and fitness plans.
There are so many myths about health and fitness that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, and it’s one of the main reasons people just give up and never return to a fitness regimen. One of the biggest is that you have to have a pricey membership at a top gym in order to get fit. It certainly won’t stop you from becoming a lean, mean workout machine — if you actually work out at the gym, instead of standing around and doing very little, as many people seem to do (just “going” to the gym doesn’t work: it’s not where you are, after all, but what you do). But the truth is that you can work out anywhere, and as long as you’re moving or lifting something, you’re doing yourself a big fitness favor.
Vacuuming the house is a great full-body workout, for instance, and one that blasts those calories stored in the fat around your midsection that you’re just dying to get rid of. Getting out of a taxi or off a bus a while before your destination and walking, or even jogging, is another good health hack — as is not following the sheeple, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. There’s so much you can do to get fit during your everyday life that if you just stop to think about it, you could really shift those pounds — and with very little effort.
Kicking Unhealthy Habits
If you’re a smoker and trying to get healthy this year, obviously, you know what the answer is. But stubbing out deadly smoking is no easy task, and many smokers battle with their addiction to no avail and just keep on smoking because they’re unable to stop. Now, though, it’s far easier to give up, and health authorities are recommending that smokers take up vaping and use e-cigarettes instead, because they get the nicotine they want without the thousands of harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. So what is the best e cig brand for you? It depends. Something like vape pens can be good to start with as they’re relatively simple and easy to use and you can get vaping in a flash.
Now there’s really no excuse not to get fit and healthy this year.